Gakuru death inquest resumes Thursday

Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Peter Mailanyi cross-examines Samson Kinyanjui Wanyaga (right) on June 27, 2019 during an inquest into the death of former Governor Wahome Gakuru.

The public inquest into the death of Nyeri’s third Governor Wahome Gakuru resumes today (Thursday).

The former governor died in a car crash in 2017 when he was only 77 days old in office.

The inquest was ordered by Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti.

Among the witnesses set to testify on Thursday are personnel from Safaricom, police officers who inspected the scene after the accident and the investigating officer in charge of the case, Mr Edward Nyabuto.

The prosecution has also invited an employee of DT Dobie Company based in Germany. The firm deals with Mercedes Benz vehicles , the model that Gakuru was using at the time of the accident.

The DT Dobie employee inspected the late governor’s Mercedes Benz E250 and will be expected to table an assessment report on the state of the vehicle after the accident.

Other witnesses set to appear before the court are Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga, Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, County Secretary Benjamin Gachichio and the Chief of Staff Paul Wambugu.

Governor Kahiga is expected to explain a statement he made regarding the Gakuru's Mercedes Benz after his death.

Mr Kahiga is on record saying he had warned Gakuru against using the Mercedes Benz due to its mechanical state.  Mr Gachagua is a person of interest in the case as a witness in a matter Gakuru’s government was investigating.

Gakuru had ordered an audit investigating a case of misappropriation of public funds during the tenure of Nyeri’s first governor Nderitu Gachagua, who was a brother to the MP.

Governor Gakuru died in the morning of November 7, 2017 in a road crash at Makenji on the Nyeri-Nairobi highway while on his way to Nairobi for an interview with a local radio station.

His driver, Samson Kinyanjui, lost control of the vehicle – a Mercedes E250 – and rammed into a guard rail which tore through the car.

The vehicle had four occupants at the time of the crash – the governor, his personal assistant Albert Gakuru, his bodyguard Ahmed Abdi and the driver.


The late governor’s family, through its spokesman Waruru Ndegwa, in an interview with Nation, had noted that the manufacturer of the Mercedes car had alluded to the fact that it had no mechanical defects.

“The family is interested with truth. Wahome had many enemies who wanted him dead mostly in the political arena. He had become paranoid and cautions,” said Mr Ndegwa.

He added that Gakuru was particular on who cooked for him and that he rarely ate in hotels and had stopped taking office tea.

“We are also suspecting those who looted the previous county government as Wahome had vowed to fight corruption and ensure looters are jailed,” said Mr Ndegwa.

Rescue questioned

He added that the family is also questioning the manner in which the late governor was rescued from the scene of the crash, claiming there was deliberate delay “to ensure he bled excessively”.

“The rescue was done crudely. We want to know why it took nearly one hour for the rescuers and ambulances to rush to the scene considering that the scene is not far from Kenol and Thika towns. Professional rescuers who were coming to rescue him like Dr Gikonyo were misdirected to go to Thika Hospital instead of the scene. No ambulance was sent to scene of the accident,” said Mr Ndegwa.

He said the late governor was finally rescued by members of the public who used axes to cut metal bars and was taken to Thika Level Five Hospital using a private vehicle owned by former Athi Water Services Board chairman Wachira Keen.